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Southeastern Defence Ministerial (SEDM) Meeting held in Türkiye from November 21-23, 2023

The meeting, which discussed SEDM projects and the activities of the Southeastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG), addressed the future of the SEDM Process and the impacts of the Ukraine-Russia War on regional security. The full membership of Moldova, which has been an observer country in SEDM (Southeastern Defence Ministerial) since 2003 and applied for full membership last year, was approved with the signatures of the Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and Representatives of the 16 member countries on the protocol on 22th November.

Date: November 22, 2023 Update: April 21, 2024

In accordance with the rotation among member countries, the 2023 Southeastern Defence Ministerial (SEDM) Meeting is being held in Türkiye from November 21-23, 2023. The meeting, which discussed SEDM projects and the activities of the Southeastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG), addressed the future of the SEDM Process and the impacts of the Ukraine-Russia War on regional security. Additionally, the SEDM full membership of Moldova, which joined the SEDM process as an observer member in 2003, was also approved, with the signatures of the Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and Representatives from the 16 member countries. The meeting saw participation from Türkiye, Georgia, Montenegro, Moldova, and Romania at the Ministerial level; Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Serbia at the Deputy Minister level; Italy at the Undersecretary level; the USA at the Charge d'affaires level; Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Director General level; Greece, Croatia, and Slovenia at the Ambassador level; and Ukraine with a Defence Attaché. The SEEBRIG Brigade Commander was also among the attendees.

Following the SEDM Meeting, Minister of National Defence Yaşar GÜLER made a press statement. "Today, we fruitfully and successfully conducted the twenty-eighth (28th) Southeastern Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) Meeting, hosted by Türkiye and under the Chairmanship of Romania. Firstly, I would like to thank my Romanian colleague, Defence Minister TİLVAR, and Chairperson COJOCARU. We held our meeting with the participation of representatives from sixteen (16) countries, three (3) regional organizations, and SEEBRIG. In the meeting, we exchanged our views regarding the future of the SEDM Process as well as regional security developments. We also approved Moldova’s full membership in SEDM. For 27 years, SEDM Initiative has served as an important mean in supporting stability, cooperation and good neighbourhood relations across Southeastern Europe and beyond. As the most comprehensive initiative in the region, SEDM has continued its enlargement with the full membership of Moldova. This clearly demonstrates the success of the SEDM Initiative as a peace project. In the meeting, we also held talks on the Southeastern Europe Brigade’s (SEEBRIG) activities and future, which was established by SEDM members. We shared our views on strengthening and improving the effectiveness of SEEBRIG, which has served as an excellent confidence-building mechanism in the region for 24 years. As SEDM members, we reiterated our strong support to SEDM member state Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. In conclusion, we, as SEDM members, agreed to continue our efforts to strengthen the regional role and effectiveness of the process and to enhance its visibility as a result-oriented political-military regional initiative over Southeastern Europe and beyond. We also agreed to work towards bringing SEDM to its full potential and to increase its relevance."